By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger admits that last season took its toll on his emotions but he believes his team will come back stronger for the experience.
On the morning of February 27, Arsenal were still in the hunt for all four trophies. By the end of that day they had lost the Carling Cup Final to Birmingham in freakish circumstances and, within two weeks, two more trophies had slipped away.
By the time Arsenal's title challenge petered out in April, Wenger cut a disconsolate figure on the touchline. He acknowledges that the unfulfilled promise of the 2010/11 campaign made it his most trying period since he was appointed manager in 1996.
"The last part of the season was [the hardest]," said Wenger. "That was certainly the toughest because, emotionally, it was very difficult because we were on a low. And then you could see that the last three or four weeks were very difficult.
"[It took its toll] because I took full responsibility for what happened. I knew at some stage that it was lost and I had so much hope for the team because through November and December, you could feel that the team had really taken off and could win everything. And it was so close."
The key now is to respond to last season's setbacks and Wenger is confident that his squad are ready to turn their potential into prizes.
"I believe that the real destiny of this team is now there," he said. "They know as well as I know that we were very, very close.
"You say, OK we missed our chance or you say, in our position, let's show everybody that we can do it and come back stronger. Which is what I think we can do because we are a young team and we can only be better. It demands the strength of character that champions have. That's what we want to show."Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 15 Jul 2011